9.1 In at least 80% of abuse cases the perpetrators are known to the children, they are more than likely an individual that the child has previously felt comfortable and secure whilst in the company of. These children are automatically vulnerable as the majority of individuals in early childhood grew up believing that the adults and caregivers around them are their soul protectors and have no choice but to place their upmost trust in them, this therefore also makes the task of explaining abuse to a child a complex one. The thought of an adult being able to cause them harm will be an alien concept to them and will lead to confusion, this will be a matter the child will never have considered and will more than likely have nothing but love and trust for their parents, family and carers.
Young children are unlikely to know much, if anything at all, about human sexuality making them passive about the matter. To explain the matter of abuse to a child who does not a have previous sexual education will lead to a struggle in portraying to that child the severity and wrongfulness of abuse. It is therefore the adult’s responsibility to ensure that they diplomatically explain, at an acceptable and adequate level, human sexuality and how their body is private to them prior to discussing the issue of abuse
Growing up children are constantly receiving messages and taught that adults are always right and that they should do as they are told by them. This message can lead to difficulty when trying to explain abuse to a child as they will most likely become confused and develop misconceptions. To the child this can lead to a confusing and fearful new thought that adults may hurt them. The child needs to be taught that they uphold the right to say “no”. Without removing their respect for their parents and elders the child needs to be taught that when it comes to their body that if they feel uncomfortable they have the right to say “no” even to an adult. Along with this children are often taught not to betray adults and in many cases of abuse the abuser will use secrecy as a main tactic. Therefore it can be difficult to explain to a child the difference between a ‘good’ secret and a ‘bad’ secret. It is the adult’s responsibility to try and teach them that a secret that makes them feel scared, depressed or uncomfortable needs to be reported to a trusted adult.
The adult approaching the child needs to possess a good and broad knowledge of the issue and to be confident and honest in their explanation. This can prove difficult for the adult as the matter being discussed is unpleasant and cause them to be fearful of causing the child upset. However by being confident and upfront the child will place more confidence in the adult that, although the idea of abuse is fearful, they can be kept safe. Those who approach children on the matter of abuse need to be well informed of the complex impacts that sexual abuse can have upon children. Communication also needs to take place within a friendly, non-intimidating environment. The conversation child needs to be open, straightforward and determined. This will ensure clear guidelines and education will occur and the child will learn effectively how to promote their own safety.
9.2 The issue surrounding the reporting of male abuse lies largely in the role of the society that the individual lives in. There is a general consensus within society that females hold the label of ‘victim’ and that abuse is only relevant to females rather than males, however abuse is certainly not a trauma experienced solely by females and in 2010 it was stated that around 405 of men who reported being the victims of domestic violence in 2010 were abused by a female. However even in current time’s male abuse is still a matter that is not highly recognised or promoted in society as a current and serious problem that needs to be dealt with. Generally society still believes…